Justice and Judgement on Valentine’s Day

Like so many other lovebirds do on Valentines Day, Nick and I went out to for dinner. We were excited to try a local Italian place that several people had told us was good, and which was slightly more expensive than our usual dates.

Because it was cold out, Nick dropped me off and drove away to park. I entered and gave the host (most likely the manager) my name and our 7:15 reservation time. He sent a hostess to scout a table.

Enter another couple.

This couple was clearly older and more affluent than I. They gave their name and 7:30 reservation time. When the hostess came back and announced there was an open table “in the back, by the fireplace,” the manager looked right past me, and had the hostess escort the older couple to that table. Five or ten minutes later (after our reservation time, but still before the other couple’s) we were seated by another hostess at a tiny table in the middle of the crowded dining room.

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I was incensed.

I did my best to communicate that I was fully aware of the manager’s actions by looking him directly in the eyes as he practically climbed over my shoulder to hand the couple their menus. Had it not been so loud, I may have communicated my feelings to him verbally. I have no problem with the table at which we were seated, but I knew that we had been snubbed because the manager assumed (probably correctly) that we would be spending less money than the other couple. Working as a server for over a decade of my life, I am very aware of this game. The big spenders at the Weathervane always got the nicest tables by the windows with a view of the channel. I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now.

I have this thing where I get very upset over injustice – like the time we were cut in line at the airport by two girls who proceeded to then jump even further up to another line, in front of several travelers who had been patiently waiting for a half hour or more.

Obviously, these are two very trite and petty examples of injustice. The bigger issues- many of which I face with my clients (racism, sexism, bullying, abuse, etc.) on a daily basis- tend to send me quite over the edge with rage.

At first glance, my desire for justice can be a good thing. It means that I try to act with justice and integrity. However, my propensity towards justice also gives me the false illusion that it’s okay for me to judge others. When I get fired up over injustice, Nick is constantly having to calm me down and remind me that it’s not my job to judge (though he also expresses that my passion for justice is one of the things he loves about me).

Then, this morning I read this from 1 Corinthians 1:
“Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”” vv 26-13 MSG

And there it is- the reminder that the world’s standards are not God’s standards. I get so caught up in the world’s race to have and do, that I forget God’s standard of just BE-ing in relationship with those who experience injustice and in relationship with Him– a God who not only doesn’t choose us by our money or social standing, but also doesn’t choose us even on our actions. He chooses us because he created us and we are His sons and daughters. He chooses us because He loves us.

He created me and He loves me as His daughter. There is nothing I can do to make Him love me less, and nothing I can do to make Him love me more.

He created you and He loves you as His child. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you less, and nothing you can do to make Him love you any more than He does right now.

And that is the great equalizer, and the reason I am in no place to judge anyone else.

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